Background: Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are occupationally exposed to ocular injuries via bodily fluid (ie, blood or saliva), which can carry substantial latent risks, both bacterial and viral. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ocular injury and infection among oral and maxillofacial surgeons during outpatient procedures.
Methods: Data were collected from a consecutive series of 500 surgeries conducted by 26 resident surgeons via a questionnaire. Responses were categorized into two groups: Group I did not indicate an eye injury, and Group II did indicate an eye injury.
Results: Of 500 procedures, 161 resulted in ocular injuries, a rate of 32.2 injuries per 100 person-procedures. Educated participants experienced eye injuries at a significantly higher rate than those who were uneducated (23.33% vs 15.11%; p = 0.022). Those not using eye protection experienced eye injuries at a significantly higher rate than those using eye protection (23.32% vs 2.33%; p<0.001). Of all eye injuries, 14.28% required medical management. Incidents were reported at a rate of 10.56%, higher in those with multiple injuries.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate major inadequacies and breaches of the present eye/face protection protocols. Because the number of clinical studies on ocular injuries during oral and maxillofacial surgerical procedures is limited in the literature, each additional study can be important for promoting awareness among professionals, so that serious morbidity can be prevented.